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Took my Adult SD on a week long vacation....<<INSERT LOUD BUZZ SOUND HERE>>

lainey_me's picture

I married my husband 11 years ago and his daughter lived with us full time has a child. BM only a problem at holidays and had no financial or physical custody. So, sometimes I forget I'm a stepmom...but sometimes, my SD goes out of her way to bring that reality back in full a wall of brick breaking my nose...over and over.

So, my uncle recently got married, had a destination wedding in Florida - and we decided to go early. We went a week early spent 3 days at Disney world and 2 days at Universal Studios, then off to the beach for a few days and a wedding.

When we booked the trip, I didn't think a thing about the fact that I was paying for 3 people to spend a week in close quarters, because I was so excited about the trip. It was going to be the 3 of us and my cousin (who's my best friend). Got a townhouse in Orlando for the first part of the trip with 3 bathrooms and separate bedrooms...enough for everyone to have their own space.

Here's the kicker...I paid for the entire trip.

Now, my SD never really wanted anything to do with Disney, mostly because I'm a fan of it...but she loves Harry Potter, so she was going nuts over Universal.

About 2 weeks before we left, I invited her over and made her "Butter beer" from a recipe I had looked up online (it's the drink they drink in Harry Potter). When she took a sip, I could tell she liked it, but immediately she said "this is terrible." And at that moment, BRICK WALL...

I went into full-on panic mode...what have I done? I've paid for this person who has never really accepted me to travel on my dime for a week while doing everything in her power to hurt me...that's what I have done.

And, let me tell was a nightmare.

Everything I've read on this site, from the inappropriate holding of hands and giggling and touching of dad's shoulders while walking thru Epcot, to telling me something I like was horrible, to even saying things like "I'm not going to let you make me feel stupid" in front of my cousin - which of course, made ME look stupid...she was a nightmare. She wouldn't shower or brush her teeth (she's 21 years old). She told her father when we got home that she "woyuldn't come around for awhile". She didn't want to go anywhere I wanted to go, didn't want to eat what I wanted to eat...I call this "opposite child" was out in full force, and I started to loose it.

By the end, she couldn't even make a sound without me loosing my mind. I had gone completely insane, thought I might need to see a doctor about this strange anxiety that had overcome me, and maybe have my hormone levels checked. I started to snap at her, and would chant in my head "she's a person, be kind" over and over and over...nothing worked.

Finally, when my husband asked me why I cared if she bathed before we got on the plane to go home, I had it. We fought, and in the mirror, I saw her smile...then I knew I wasn't nuts, I was being a victim...and I'm not a good victim.

I got home, took a few days, talked to a few friends with step daughters, and realized...she's playing...not, and he's buying it.

#1 I will never take her on a trip again
#2 We cancelled Easter...or rather, I made other plans on Easter so we won't be having it
#3 I need time to heal, and I'm okay with that

Since we got home, she's been to my house while I was at work to talk to dad about me twice, and has been texting him non-stop. When he told me yesterday, I showed him her texts to me...all about Disney and Harry Potter...all nice.

I need space, I'm taking it, and I feel like a horrible person, but I know this is a game to her and my life to me.

I don't know if I need advice, but I'm pretty sure I'm not crazy...feel free to weigh in.


hereiam's picture

Disengage from her, you don't need the aggravation. Let her and her dad have their relationship and do not play her games.

Do what you need to do to heal and don't feel bad about it. In the future, be polite but emotionally distant and do not let her get to you. If she wants to play games, let her play them alone.

oneoffour's picture

I never do anything for anyone unless I want to. Not because it is nice or kind or thoughtful. I do it without expecting a single thing in return.

So your SD showed herself for the immature bratina she is. So up goes the drawbridge and negate her influence on your life. If she says "I won't be around so much." You reply "Oh whatever makes you happy."
"I hate this it is horrible." - "Really? Oh well. I know not to make it again."
"I don't have to shower or anything. You aren't my mother." - "You are right. So if you want to sit on a plane stinking like old fish, have at it." And make sure oyur seat is away from her.

You cannot control adults. She does this to spite you. So don't do nice things for her, she is 21 and able to take care of herself. And if she comes around and sucks up to you and wants to be fwweennddss just tell her her previous behaviour pointed out to you loud and clear you are not responsible for her happiness or wellbeing. She is old enough to take care of herself and she can always check in with her BM for emotional support.

Just pull back. Allow DH to do his own thing with her. She is an adult and you have thrown her from the nest.

lainey_me's picture

Thank you all so much. I really was feeling like a crazy lady. I've stepped back and let it go, and I feel more free than I ever had with her before.

My poor husband, with a lack of me to screw with, she's starting to mess with him. Though it's sad for me to watch, because she's such a good man, I think it's probably a good thing in the end.

I love my husband so much it's ridiculous - hate to see him hurt - but am relieved that he is now starting to see things without rose colored glasses.

Thank you all again.